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Islamic Studies BA (Full time) 2018 start

  • Overview

    Islam is one of the most influential and widely practised religions in the world. It is unsurprising, therefore, that there is a growing recognition that Islamic Studies is a subject of strategic importance in multicultural Britain.

    Here at Leeds, the Islamic Studies course offers you teaching of the highest standard, in a research-intensive environment where leading scholars and students come together to explore the rich and variegated landscape of Islam, the Islamicate, Muslim societies and cultures. Our approach moves beyond both the methodology of conventional Islamic studies and Orientalism by offering innovative and creative engagement with the field of study. Our degree deals seriously with issues both historical and contemporary from a genuinely interested perspective.

    Part-time study

    Year 1 can be studied part-time over two years through the Lifelong Learning Centre. The remaining years will be completed full-time through the School. For more information visit Arabic, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies on the Lifelong Learning Centre website.

    Specialist resources

    Leeds has a wealth of facilities for students of Islamic Studies. Our departmental archive contains 500 Arabic manuscripts, as well as 10,000 archaeological artefacts that ranging from Pharaonic to early Palestinian eras. It’s a fantastic research resource – as is our library, which has extensive collections relating to Islamic studies.

    If you choose to study Arabic or another language during your degree, you’ll find that Leeds has excellent language facilities too, including a fully equipped Language Centre with digital language labs, audio-visual booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). There’s also our Electronic Resource Information Centre, which features specialised computing facilities for translation studies and Interpreter Training Suites to help you explore your career options.

  • Course content

    Reflecting the wide range of topics, modules and disciplines which constitute Islamic Studies, our methodology is a hybrid of classical Islamic Studies (historical-philological), decolonial approaches, liberative/emancipatory hermeneutics, Critical Muslim Studies and Critical Madrasa Studies. The academic frameworks employed are multidisciplinary and include theology, linguistics, history, philosophy, sociology, politics and psychology.

    Islamic Studies at Leeds is concerned with understanding Islam both past and present but it also aims to unveil hidden, forgotten narratives that are dismissed as obsolete, insignificant, irrelevant to current religious discourse and praxis. From discussions of Sunni-Murji’ite and proto-Shi’i theology, Hanafi legal thought and sexual ethics to emancipatory readings of the Qur’an and Hadith by women (Muslimah theology), Black liberation theology and other subaltern perspectives, we bring to the centre voices which have been pushed to the peripheries of our discipline.

    Modules such as Global Jihad, read through the lenses of race, identity and Islamophobia, insist on close, introspective reading of discursive traditions which are all too often simplified and therefore misunderstood. Our field of enquiry also includes Persian, Turkish and Subcontinental Islamicate traditions, best represented by our work done under the umbrella of the Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam.

    Throughout your studies, you’ll develop critical and research skills alongside your subject knowledge. In your final year you will continue to strengthen these across your module choices, but you will also put them into practice in your final year project – an independent piece of research on a topic of your own choosing.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Arabic for Beginners 20 credits
    • Introduction to Islamic Theology 20 credits
    • Early and Medieval Islamic History 20 credits
    • IT for LCS Students 5 credits

    Optional modules

    • Persian for Beginners 20 credits
    • Turkish for Beginners 20 credits
    • Introduction to Arab and Islamic Civilisation 20 credits
    • Introduction to the Middle East: Politics, Culture and Religion 20 credits
    • Religion in Modern Britain 10 credits

    Year 2

    Compulsory modules

    • Culture and Society in the Arab World 20 credits
    • Islamic Law: Theory and Practice 20 credits
    • The Qur'an: History, Text and Intepretation 20 credits

    Optional modules

    • Arabic for Beginners 2 20 credits
    • Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict 20 credits
    • Global Jihad: From the Taliban to ISIS 20 credits
    • Modern Middle Eastern History 20 credits
    • Contemporary Arabic Media 20 credits

    Year 3

    Compulsory modules

    • Islam and Modernity 20 credits
    • The Hadith: History, Criticism and Canonisation 20 credits
    • Final Year Project

    Optional modules

    • Arab Drama on Stage and Screen 20 credits
    • Arabic for Beginners 3 20 credits
    • Middle Eastern Politics: Regimes, Societies and Conflict 20 credits
    • Authoritarianism and Democratisation in the Arab World 20 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read Islamic Studies BA in the course catalogue

    Broadening your academic horizons

    At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

    Learning and teaching

    You’ll benefit from a variety of teaching and learning styles at Leeds. Our tutors are experts in their fields, and they usually pass on their knowledge through a combination of lectures, small-group seminars and tutorials where you will be able to discuss key issues across your studies. There is also more emphasis on independent learning, meaning you will spend time building your research skills and thinking critically about the information you find.


    We also use different types of assessment – usually exams and essays, but some courses will also include oral presentations or group work as assessed components. There’s plenty of support on offer throughout your time at Leeds; you’ll be able to attend extra classes on topics such as exam technique, public speaking and structuring essays.

  • Entry requirements, fees and applying

    Entry requirements

    A-level: ABB

    • Access to HE Diploma

      Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required.

    • BTEC

      BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDM. Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

    • Cambridge Pre-U

      M1, M1, M1.

    • International Baccalaureate

      34 points overall including 16 at Higher Level.

    • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

      H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3

    • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

      BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers, or AABBBB in Highers.

    • Welsh Baccalaureate

      The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

    • Other Qualifications

      European Baccalaureate: 77%

    Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

    Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be BBB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.

    We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

    Alternative entry

    We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

    Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

    Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

    Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.


    We accept a wide range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies admissions team.

    International Foundation Year Programme

    International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

    English language requirements

    IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

    International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

    How to apply

    Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

    International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

    Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

    Admissions policy

    School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions Policy


    UK/EU: See fees section below

    International: £17,500 (per year)

    For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

    The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

    The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

    The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

    If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

    Read more about paying fees and charges.

    Additional cost information

    There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

    Financial support

    If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

  • Career opportunities

    A degree in Islamic Studies equips you with a wide range of skills for a variety of careers, as well as deep theological, linguistic and cultural understanding of one of the world’s most influential faith traditions and a region of global significance. Your knowledge and skills gained through the degree could lead to careers in the Civil Service; FCO; local government; law; Islamic banking and finance; media (television, radio, online and print); education; non-governmental organisations; and business and commerce.

    Increasingly, graduates with specialist knowledge of Islam, Muslim communities, Islamic law, theology and contemporary trends in Islamic thought are being sought by policy institutes and think-tanks, international development organisations and the MOD. And for those seeking to pursue postgraduate studies, there are a range of options allowing further specialisation in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies which can lead to PhD study and a career in academia.

    Whatever your plans, we are committed to helping you achieve your career ambitions. The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures offers a number of internships every year, and we work closely with the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies’ Work Placements Officer to source internship and training opportunities.

    Careers support

    We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

    Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

    The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

  • Study abroad and work placements

    Study abroad

    On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

    Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

    Work placements

    Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

    Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.